Best Front Bike Racks

Best Front Bike Racks for Bikepacking and Touring Bikes

Finding the best front bike racks for your bike commuting or bike touring can be difficult, especially when you haven't figured everything that makes a front bike rack suitable and what qualities make it good. Luckily, we've got years of experience bike touring and know which racks are the very best ones. 

If you don't know much about bike racks, don't worry! We've written a detailed guide about them, covering everything you need to know before choosing one. But to save you some time, we've added the main points to take note of down below:

There are two kinds of front bike racks that you can buy: 

They are the standard front rack or a low rider front rack

Standard front racks mount above the wheel and are often referred to as top mount racks. Most of them feature side rails for panniers, but quite a number don't. Low rider racks, on the other hand, sit a bit lower down on the bike's fork and most times don't have a top rack. They are more preferred when bike touring as they sit the weight lower down on the bike. This placement allows low rider racks to offer a much better ride and doesn't hamper your ability to maneuver the bike.

When looking for bike racks, it's always good to know what type of items you plan to carry and the use case you have for them. So, if you plan to commute around town or make quick grocery runs, you'll only need a standard front rack. However, if you plan to go bike touring, having a low rider rack will provide a more comfortable ride. 

Both types of racks may allow you to attach panniers on them, with the only difference stemming from their distribution of weight. Either way, this list of front touring racks has all the best options that are worth checking out.

Best Front Bike Racks: 

  1. Thule Pack 'N Pedal Tour Rack 
  2. SUNLITE Gold Tec Front Rack, 26"/700c
  3. Origin8 Classique Cargo HD Front Rack
  4. Axiom Journey Suspension and Disc Low-rider, Black
  5. Tubus Cycle Rack's Tara Lowrider

Front Bike Rack Reviews

Let's look at each rack and its pros and cons:

Thule Pack 'N Pedal Tour Rack

thule bike rack review

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One of the best front bike touring racks to consider is the Thule Pack 'N Pedal. This rack doesn't require any complicated installation and can fit either the front of the bike or the back. It attaches to the front forks or seat stays easily. Plus, it offers excellent tire clearance that you can adjust up to 29" x 2.5".

This rack is very sturdy and can support a load capacity up to 22 lbs on the front and up to 25 pounds on the rear. It also includes a slot to mount a rear reflector to make sure you are visible while cycling in the dark. 

You can get this front rack and install it on just about any type of bike and frame material. So if you want a versatile and sturdy rack, this is a good option. 

Pros

  • Easy to install
  • Offers good clearance adjustment
  • It can be installed on both the front and back of the bike.
  • It is very sturdy and doesn't rattle even on the roughest trails.

Cons

  • It only comes in one silver color. 

SUNLITE Gold Tec Front Rack

sunlite bike rack

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The SUNLITE Gold Tec is one of the most affordable front racks you can find to buy online. It is very sturdy thanks to the tubular alloy build and can carry up to 40 lbs of weight. However, this rack requires fork bosses to mount it, so if your bike doesn't have them, you might want to look elsewhere unless you know how to improvise. 

This rack also doesn't support carrying pannier bags. But since it's so cheap, we can ignore most of that. Overall, it's a high-quality rack for persons that just want to add a rack for commutes with a few items. 

Pros

  • It comes in two colors Black and Silver.
  • This rack is the most affordable front bike rack you will find. 
  • It has a high load capacity of 40 pounds.

Cons

  • You need fork bosses on the bike to use them.

Origin8 Classique Cargo HD Front Rack Review

front bike rack reviews

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If you want the best front bicycle rack to haul plenty of groceries or across the city, this rack is the one. It features a large top platform that measures 12" x 14.5" and can fit a large bike basket or crate. If you absolutely have no need for panniers, you'll find no better rack than the Origin8 Classique. 

It features a heavy-duty build that can support loads of up to 55 pounds, which is plenty for groceries and other regular items. Moreover, it will fit quite a number of bike frames, and it is very easy to install to the front axle and caliper holes. The rack fits best on 26", 27", 29" or 700C frames, but it isn't compatible with thru-axles.

Pros

  • It has a high weight capacity. 
  • This rack will fit most bike frames. 
  • It is rust-resistant and sturdy. 
  • Origin8 offers one of the largest platforms of any front bike rack online. 

Cons

  • It won't work with bikes that have thru-axles.

Axiom Journey Suspension and Disc Low-rider Rack

best lowrider bike rack

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Are you planning to do some serious bike touring? This rack is the one for you in that case. 

We always recommend that you avoid platform racks most of the time when it comes to touring as they make it a little more challenging to ride. And if you aren't a pro bike touring expert, you won't love having that issue while touring. But you do get used to the feeling over time so you can still get a front platform rack. 

However, if you want the best experience while touring, getting a low rider bike rack is the best option. The Axiom Journey rack is one of the highest-rated low riders available online. It fits most bike frames, even ones with suspension forks and disk brakes. Moreover, it is very easy to install.

The Axiom Journey front low rider rack is built sturdily and supports 40 lbs of total weight (20 on each side). For front racks, that amount of weight capacity is more than enough as you don't want too much load at the front. Overall, this rack is an excellent option. 

Pros

  • It is a very high-quality, low rider front rack. 
  • This rack is very affordable.
  • It will fit suspension forks and even bikes with disc brakes. 
  • This will fit on bikes with forks up to 42mm.

Cons

  • It is best for bikes with QR skewers and might not work for bikes without them.

Tubus Cycle Rack's Tara Lowrider Review

Lowrider bike rack reviews

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The Tubus Tara rack is another perfect low rider bicycle rack that will allow you to add panniers to your bike. It requires your bike to have eyelets but is easy to install. The Tara front touring rack offers excellent durability and can hold up to 33 lbs. 

This front pannier rack will work on bikes with 26" wheels, however, keep in mind that it won't work on spring or carbon frames that don't have the eyelets. If you've got a bike with disc brakes, you can still use this rack.

Overall, the Tubus Tara has been around for a while and is rated highly by cyclists worldwide. As such, we think it's worth considering if you are looking for a low rider pannier rack.

Pros

  • High Load capacity
  • It will work on most 26" frames as long as it has eyelets.
  • This rack is built to last and haul items for years. 

Cons

  • Won't work on carbon or suspension forks with no eyelets. 

Bottom Line

Front bike racks are a great addition to any bike, but you should consider what type of items you need to carry on them before buying one. We've covered this briefly earlier, but it is one of the essential points to remember. With that, we always recommend low riders for bike touring and panniers. For commuting with groceries and a small number of items, get a platform rack. 

Our top recommendation for front rack falls on the Thule Pack n Pedal. For the cheapest bike rack option, go with the SUNLITE Gold Tec Front Rack. If you need a lowrider pannier rack, our favorite is the Axiom Journey.

We hope you've found the best front bike rack for your bike. Join the discussion below and let us know how you liked them!